All the Fall

Growing up in Texas, I didn’t get around to doing many ‘fall’ things.  Texas fall is really still summer and winter is pretty much just fall.  Although we think it’s full blown winter when it drops below 60 degrees in Texas, I didn’t really know what I was missing out on until I moved to Colorado and experienced legitimate seasons.

So this year we made a point to go visit a farm with a Sunflower Field, corn maze and legitimate pumpkin patch.  NOT a rented lot with pumpkins in a row that were grown somewhere else… a legitimate patch where I could pick them off the vine.  This may seem standard for many of you guys out there, but I had never been to one!  I was seriously like a kid in a candy store.  I would have taken ALL the pumpkins if I had an excuse (and the money).

I was also lucky enough to be hanging out with my very talented photographer friend, Brianne Janae who snapped these amazing pics for us.  This was not a planned shoot y’all, just candids… she’s just that good. :)

sunflower field fall fashion pumpkin patchpumpkin patch pumpkin patch sunflower field akin pumpkin patch ride more work less

Ride More Work Less Sweatshirt from Akinz.

Happy Fall!!

stitch-fix-review-november

Stitch Fix Review – November 2015

New fix day!!  If you are a Stitch Fix fan, you’ll know that on Fix day, it’s like Christmas.  This time around I had been pinning lots of ponchos so I was super excited to see a new poncho pullover among other goodies waiting for me in my fix.  If you haven’t tried or heard of Stitch Fix, here’s how it works:

Just click here (if you use this link, I get referral credit, so yay new clothes for you AND me!), fill out your style profile, pick the date you want to receive your shipment and they’ll send you 5 new items catered to your style and your requests. Keep and pay for only what you want, send the rest back within 3 days in the pre-labeled bag. If you want to get the most out of your fixes, make sure to build a Pinterest board full of pics that illustrate all your current trend crushes.  Not sure what to pin?  Check out my board for some ideas.

Stitch Fix also just released an app where you can track your fix, checkout on your phone and upload a photo of yourself to share with your stylist.  Because of the app, it was too easy to peek at what was coming this month though so I ruined my surprise.  I promise to be better next shipment.

Colour Works Blake Poncho Pullover Sweater ($68) & Mavi Summer Flare Jean ($98)

The first two things I immediately grabbed out of the box were this beautiful poncho pullover and flare leg jeans.  I’d been pinning ponchos like crazy but I wasn’t sure if I would actually like one on me, so I was so happy when I put this one on and loved it!  It’s super soft and a nice fine knit material, not too heavy so it drapes beautifully. And I LOVE it with the flares.  I mean, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this outfit.

BUT, there’s a problem…  First, the jeans have those small front pockets that look like back pockets and I’m not sure if I love that part of them on me.  Secondly, these are seriously the tallest wedges I own and the flares are still just brushing the ground.  But I hardly ever wear heels, especially to work so I’m worried I won’t end up wearing these as much as I would like or they will end up getting shredded from wearing them with shorter shoes.  Really not sure what to do here! Status: Blake Poncho: KEPT, Mavi Flares: UNDECIDED

colour-works-blake-poncho-pullover-flares colour-works-blake-poncho-pullover-mavi-flares colour-works-poncho-pullover-mavi-flares-back

Lysse Faux Leather Legging ($108)

The next item I couldn’t wait to try on were the leather leggings.  These seemed like a high quality material and I liked the seam details.  They felt really comfortable on, not too stiff and I actually liked the high waist cut which was surprising to me.  Plus the seams down the back of the legs are super flattering.  It looked great with the poncho, but the crotch hung a little low for some reason no matter how much I pulled them up and I felt uncomfortable about it when I paired them with a graphic tee that wasn’t quite as long.  I had really wanted to be able to wear them to work with Akinz tops so this was kind of a bummer and made me feel like I definitely couldn’t spend that much money on something that I wasn’t 100% excited about.  Status: RETURNED

blake-poncho-pullover-leather-legging lysse-leather-legging-blake-poncho-back lysse-keeley-faux-leather-legging

Archer Arrows Poncho Top from Akinz

Skies are Blue Frawley Crochet Detail Top ($54)

This shirt was the last thing I put on.   It’s a pretty top although the dimensions seem a little weird.  I felt like it was supposed to be 3/4 length sleeves but they were a little too long for 3/4 length but too short for long sleeve.  And the way the baby doll effect pintucks fell just a little high and the shirt was a little shorter than I would like,  it made me think it looked like a shrunken shirt instead of a 3/4 sleeve babydoll top.  It just isn’t my style at all. You can also see the front pockets of the Mavi flares here.  STATUS: Returned.

skies-are-blue-frawley-crochet-top skies-are-blue-frawley-crochet-top-back  

Nakamol Tulane Lariat Tassel Necklace ($38)

This is the first thing I grabbed when I first saw my Fix, but it just lost something in the translation for me.  It’s one of those open ‘rope’ style necklaces that doesn’t have a closing. My stylist suggested I knot it to create the tassel effect.  I liked that it has accents in all different types of finishes so that it would be easy to pair and layer with other items.  I think if I had kept all the other items, I would have been happy to keep this, however I envisioned it falling off at work and feel like I wouldn’t reach for it to wear so… STATUS: Returned.

nakamol-tulane-lariat-tassel-necklace-pic nakamol-tulane-lariat-tassel-necklace

Overall this Fix was a 1/5 or 2/5 depending on what I decide on the flares.  However, I still think that is a huge win to walk away with 1 or 2 pieces that I absolutely love that were picked out for me by a stranger and delivered to my doorstep.  If you’re looking to expand your wardrobe, get surprise boxes of goodies and perhaps be pushed outside your style comfort zone, sign up for your own fix here.

 

propagating succulents

A Pinterest Bomb exploded in my house

A couple weekends ago I decided I needed some downtime / craft time.  I feel like I’ve been running like crazy lately and haven’t had a chance to do anything just for me.  So I bought some supplies for some of the things I’ve been saving on my “Stuff to Make” pinterest board that were dangerously close to being forgotten and went to town.

First I dove into the diy coffee mug scene and tried my hand at these watercolor coffee mugs.  Click here for the original diy from Cute DIY Projects.  I really love the way they turned out, but I feel like I could get better the more I play around with it.  The thing that surprised me the most was really how fast you have to work after you put the nail polish in the water.  I was also using Jamberry’s 5-Free Nail Lacquer so I wondered if I had been using a cheaper nail polish with the regular chemicals if it would keep from drying up a little longer.  Next time I’ll try that. :)

SUPPLIES NEEDED: clean blank mugs, your preferred nail polish, lukewarm water in a disposable container, paper towels, skewer or similar.

diy watercolor mug supplies diy watercolor mugs

I had also visited the local greenhouse to pick up some end of season plants at a discount and grabbed some succulents and rooting hormone to try my hand at propagating.  I started tearing off succulent leaves all willy nilly and set up my tiny grow operation in a used egg carton in my kitchen window.  So far I have 2 new baby plants and about 6 others with roots growing.  I haven’t quite given up on my stragglers that haven’t dried up yet though.  After a little more reading I now know that I need to let the succulent leaves dry up / harden off for a couple days before I start the rooting process so maybe my next batch will have better success.

propagating succulents

Above is a couple weeks ago, below is present day.  Notice the new babies and the surrounding slackers.

rooting succulents propagating succulents

Lastly, I decided to tackle one of my 35 before 35 to-dos that has been on my list for around 4 years, the wine cork bath mat (that I plan on using as a kitchen mat).  I’ve been saving wine corks for years and moving them from place to place.  I decided it was time to take action. After making the executive decision to cut 2″ off the planned width to possibly be able to finish, I still wasn’t able to finish the last row (you can see the clear backing at the top).  I still need 18 more wine corks or 36 half corks so I’m guessing I’ll be able to cross this one off the list for good after the Christmas holidays.

wine cork mat

Oh, and I can’t forget my newest holiday edition.  I created a new home for my air plant, but it’s not very DIY-ish.  i.e.  I bought this skull at Michael’s.  Then I put my air plant in it.  Voila. 😉

air plant skull

 

stitch-fix-review-october

Stitch Fix Review – October 2015 – Another great fix!

So I love Stitch Fix. I always get a shocked look on my friends faces when they find out I actually like it and I always get the same question from them considering I own a clothing line and boutique.  Why do I need someone else to shop for me?  Well here’s the answer in two parts.

1. I don’t.  I don’t NEED someone to shop for me, but it’s fun!  Seeing what another stylist would pick out based on my style profile pushes me out of my comfort zone a bit and has pushed me to step up my everyday appearance a little bit.  (It’s easy to get in a slump of “I can wear whatever I want to work today because I’m tired” when you’re the boss.)

2. I own a CASUAL clothing line.  Yes, we are branching into more variety of clothing types with each season, but sometimes a girl just wants to dress up.  And I LOVE the denim items Stitch Fix sends me.  The day Akinz starts making denim, maybe I’ll slow down on the Stitch Fix, but til then, I’m hooked.

That said, if you want to try out Stitch Fix for yourself, it’s super easy.  Just click here (if you use this link, I get referral credit, so yay new clothes for you AND me!), fill out your style profile, pick the date you want to receive your shipment and they’ll send you 5 new items catered to your style and your requests. Keep and pay for only what you want, send the rest back within 3 days in the pre-labeled bag. If you want to get the most out of your fixes, make sure to build a Pinterest board full of pics that illustrate all your current trend crushes.  Not sure what to pin?  Check out my board for some ideas.

Now, onto the clothes!!  I had requested an oversize sweater, faux leather pants, tassel necklace and possibly some wide leg jeans.  My stylist, Katy, delivered exactly what I asked for!

stitch-fix-wakefield-crossover-sweater

To me, the star of this fix was definitely the Wakefield Crossover Sweater.  It wasn’t quite as long as I had wanted, but it is a super unique fit with 2 crossover panels in the front.  My only complaint is that the top of the panels connect at the bottom of the sleeves so when you lift your arms up (like I do a lot while I’m working at the shop), it’s a full on crop top.  I threw a black tank top underneath it for work and I was good to go.  For that reason, you can’t really see the way the front drapes so cool at times in these pics cause I was making sure to stand still so you didn’t get a show. haha.  I paired it here with my Just Black distressed skinnies from a previous fix and my TOMS desert wedge highs.  I’m excited to pair it with some of my skinny colored denim too.  VERDICT:  DEFINITELY KEPT and wore the first day I got the fix! :)

stitch-fix-loveappella-milo-knit-top copy

Next up is the RD Style Rory Faux Leather Front Legging and the Loveappella Milo Knit Top.  When I first saw the pattern on the Loveappella top, I thought it would go back.  I thought it was cute, but wasn’t totally crazy about it.  However, when I put it on, it fit like a dream on me… super soft and I love the keyhole detail in the back. Plus it’s Made in the USA which is something I strive for in my brand, so I have to give them huge points for that.  As for the leather leggings, I was SO sad that these weren’t a winner for me.  I’ve been asking for leather pants since probably my first fix, but these just didn’t fit me right.  The top hides it a little bit, but there were creases across the entire crotch area.  I think they were unfortunately a little too tight on my hips.  I felt like I could have made them work with suspenders… haha but I think there’s probably a better pair out there for me somewhere.  VERDICT:  KEPT the Loveappella top and very sadly SENT BACK the leather leggings.

stitch-fix-level-99-carmel-gaucho-jean

The last clothing item in my fix was the Level 99 Carmel Gaucho Jean.  They fit with my wide leg request and I sadly forgot to style them with some neutral wedges like Katy suggested. Not sure why I grabbed flip flops since wedges were what I had in my head, but I was in a bit of a hurry I suppose. :)  But either way, they just weren’t super flattering on me as I have somewhat shorter legs in comparison to my torso and I wouldn’t have worn them with boots, so spending money on jeans that I may or may not wear next summer seemed like a bad idea.  Especially when they seem like a fad that may be gone by next summer. VERDICT: Sent Back.

stitch-fix-nakamol-solano-stone-tassel-necklace

Lastly, I requested a long necklace with either a tassel, agate stones, tooth element, or something unique.  Katy included the Nakamol Solano Stone Tassel Necklace which had a little bit of everything.  I’m not really a crystal fan, but I was willing to look past them because this necklace was gorgeous.  I have to say I would have preferred it to just have the one green agate stone and the tassel and I probably would have fallen in love.  Or a black stone.  I paired it with my Market & Spruce asymmetrical sweater from September’s fix and loved the look.  I would have kept it, but unfortunately I think it might have been damaged in shipping & when I went to try on the necklace, the top crystal fell out.  I put it back in and tried to tighten the gold enclosure, but it fell out again when I took it off.  I’m sure StitchFix would have exchanged it, but I just didn’t love it enough to deal with it.  VERDICT: SENT BACK.

 

Overall I am really happy with this fix.  I wore the crossover sweater to work and got tons of compliments plus it makes me feel sophisticated in some way.  I’m wearing the Loveappella tank today and have been so comfy!  I think Katy did a great job styling the leather leggings & necklace, they just didn’t work out for me.  The only thing that I feel like was off was the gauchos.  But still, 2 new items that I love with no effort and lots of fun = WIN.

 

Want to get your own Fix?  Complete your style profile today.

monsters

Tiny Monsters

Akinz is having a “Monsters & Creatures” Art Show for the month of October so I decided to contribute some small watercolor monsters.

I’ve been loving watercolor as a medium lately, but I’m used to drawing things that exist in real life so coming up with monsters was like a practice in imagination.   I couldn’t bring myself to paint angry little monsters so I ended up with cute little monsters that are 1 part colorful, 1 part adorable, 0 parts scary.

watercolor-cactus-monster watercolor-monster watercolor-octopus-monster watercolor-jellyfish-monster watercolor-arachmoth-monster

 

They will be hanging at Akinz for the month of October and then what is left will be up for grabs, so let me know if you want one!

35 before 35 – Let’s do this

Every birthday I say I’ll do a list of the things I want to do over the next year but I never get around to writing it down.  Therefore some of those things happen, but some are forgotten.  This year I’m putting them out in the world so I can see just how many things I can accomplish.  I copied them over to a page on my blog so I can reference it easily and update it as I go along as well.  Feel free to follow along with me. :)

So here are my 35 things I’d like to accomplish in the next 10 months (I’m already almost 2 months behind).

  1. Run a marathon
  2. Have another art show (which means I have to make more art).
  3. Ride my bike to work more (even in the winter).
  4. Finish wine cork mat (this has been on my todo list for about 4 years)
  5. Book airplane tickets to Europe
  6. Contribute to this blog at least once a week.
  7. Write a card to someone I care about once a month.
  8. Go down the ‘staircase’ on Blue Sky.
  9. Pay off my credit card debt.
  10. Re-develop an exercise ‘habit’ and make it part of my lifestyle.
  11. Learn how to play the ukulele.
  12. Climb a 14er.
  13. Visit a state I haven’t been to before.
  14. Set up an etsy for my watercolors & crafts and maintain it.
  15. Make a cardigan on the knitting machine.
  16. Read (or listen to) 10 books from my reading list.
  17. Drink more water.
  18. Try making my own tofu.
  19. Put systems in place at Akinz so that all daily tasks can be completed without me (and my computer).
  20. ‘Unplug’ more frequently.
  21. Learn to finish one project before starting another.
  22. Host a dinner party, complete with decorations, courses, & cocktails.
  23. Finish building the raised bed garden.
  24. Be more organized.
  25. Add average of 1 wholesale account per month (12 total for the year).
  26. Ride a black diamond downhill trail.
  27. Hike Hanging Lake
  28. Go see a play in Fort Collins.
  29. Establish an emergency fund savings account. (2 months living expenses)
  30. Eliminate all unnecessary stock and supplies at Akinz.
  31. Do a Fun Run (Color Run, Inflatable 5k, etc)
  32. Brush up on my Spanish & French on DuoLingo app.
  33. Learn some basic Italian.
  34. Have a ‘sit-down’ lunch at least 1x / week.
  35. Learn to enjoy downtime and relaxation.

Jamberry StyleBox September 2015

Each month I get excited for my Jamberry StyleBox.  It’s a monthly subscription that contains at least $30 worth of exclusive nail care products for only $25 including shipping.  For September, they switched it up so that you can choose between 3 different ‘styles’ which will result in you receiving 1 of 3 different boxes.  You take a short style quiz that will help you to choose between Trendy, Classic or Feminine. (You can always change your style manually if you want to try out a different style.)

The other amazing thing about this month’s box is not only did they include 2 exclusive nail wrap sheets in each box, but you also get a mystery 5-free bonus lacquer ($15 value).  I received Royal in my box and it is absolutely gorgeous!!  Here’s my box and the Royal lacquer on my nails in the pic below.  I saved the exclusive wraps to use with my new gel set so I’ll share a pic of those later!  Ready to sign up for your own Stylebox??  Sign up here to start taking your style quiz.

 

Best Day Ever Pop Sugar mug Stylebox jamberry nails subscription box

 

If you’re in love with this month’s box, make sure you sign up by the 15th (TODAY) to be able to receive it!  Otherwise you will start getting your shipments in September.

 

General disclaimer: I’m an independent Jamberry nails representative, therefore if you order using the links in this post, I will receive a commission payment.  It doesn’t affect your order total in any way.  Thanks for your support!

 

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PopSugar Must Have Box Fall Special Edition

Starting Pineapple Smiles has been on my todo list for a while but when the PopSugar Must Have Box Special Edition Fall showed up on my doorstep on a rainy holiday, I figured there was no time like the present.  PopSugar Must Have boxes have easily become my favorite subscription since I signed up in March so when they released one of their Special Edition boxes, I decided to splurge and check it out. So let’s jump right in…

IMG_6363Opening this box definitely feels like a special occasion, everything is individually wrapped, the outer box is super nice and the cute little ‘Enjoy!’ sticker lets you know that you are in for a treat, so I made myself some coffee and made an event of it.

IMG_6368Here’s everything that came in the box, the Deepa Gurnani Aria NecklaceBecca Cosmetics Ombre Rouge Eye PaletteSmith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in No PoemTatcha Classic Rice Enzyme PowderCanvas Home Dauville Coasters in Platinum, & Swing Design Aura Lacquer Aquamarine Valet Tray.

IMG_6369In my opinion, the Swing tray and the Deepa Gurnani necklace are definitely the stars of this box.  Of course it helps that the tray came decked out in my absolute favorite color and I’ve been hoping for a statement necklace.  I’m excited to wear this for Holiday events.

IMG_6370Even though the Tatcha enzyme powder didn’t seem to exciting when I first pulled it out of the box, after reading the rice paper  packaging on the inside, I’m super excited to see how this works.  The coasters are already sitting out on my dining room table and actually inspired me to make a new table runner.  Overall I’m pretty excited with my first Special Edition box.  The special edition boxes typically cost $100 and this one came with goodies with a value totaling $319.

IMG_6371If you haven’t heard of the POPSUGAR Must Have Box, it’s a monthly subscription box that features full sized products ranging from beauty, fashion, home goods and more valued at over $100 per box. Subscriptions start at $39.95/month. The Fall Must Have box is sold out but you can sign up for the monthly boxes here.   If you decide to use one of my links above to sign up, use code: REFER5 to save $5 off your first box!